The USDA defines a food desert as an area where residents do not have sufficient access to food in order to maintain a healthy diet. Food deserts are the result of many problems, such as proximity to food stores, local economic conditions, and education issues. But it’s not just about proximity to the grocery store, as Lindsey Palmer, Director of Nutrition and Community Outreach at DC Central Kitchen, said in her interview for this project. It’s also a matter of what kind of food is available in stores. Many more neighborhoods than those recognized as food deserts suffer food access issues. Oftentimes the food that is available is simply not good enough. I decided to document and study these issues in Ward 8. This ward has the highest rate of diabetes, the second highest rate of obesity and the fewest grocery stores of any ward in the District. Deserts in the District documents one neighborhood, its local economy, its food access, and several people who try to change things.
Alice Kathryn Richardson received a MA in New Media Photojournalism from the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at The George Washington University, and a BFA from The University of Michigan School of Art and Design. Alice spent two years working on Deserts in the District, a series of short form documentaries exploring food access and hunger issues in Washington DC. Currently living in Boston MA, she works to promote environmental awareness through photography and film.
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